All-or-nothing enrollment policy: The college’s understanding when it comes to late enrollment is nonexistent


By Jessica Mitchell

The college’s no-tolerance when it comes to the enrollment dead­line is overly grating and can some­times be detrimental to a student’s GPA and financial situation.

Students who, for any reason at all, need to enroll in a course follow­ing its first meeting do not have the option to do so. There is an excess of valid reasons why students would need to take this enrollment alternative. The college’s rationale for omitting this option is a little unclear to me.

I understand that the college’s main concern for allowing late enrollment is the shocking odds that are against the students. Apparently success is moot to students who join a class after its first day. I know from experience that the first day of class is nothing but listening to instructors rant about their accom­plishments, childish “get to know you” games and the annoying yet ever-recurring syllabus review. Miss­ing the first day of class would put a student no further behind than any other student enrolled in the same course. Why not implement a one-day grace period? Allow students to get a feel for a class, let them drop it if they wish, and then let them enroll in a course better suited.

When students drop a course due to personal issues, unawareness, or even reasons outside their choice, it can force them into a lack of credit hours and cause major issues with their financial aid or scholarship(s). Aids like those have strict require­ments and if a class is dropped without adding another in its place, it could potentially become a money loss situation. Not only that, but the fear of dropping a course can seri­ously harm a student’s GPA because they are forced to stay enrolled rather than lose their aid and means to a higher education.

What happens when an entire class is dropped? Many students don’t even become aware of this circum­stance until the note is seen on the first day of class. This situation has nothing to do with the student yet directly affects their course load, graduating schedule, and financial situation all due to the college’s no-tolerance to late enrollment.

The college’s approach to late enrollment is overly harsh and has a serious lack of lenience. With the many situations that a student may face at any time, you would think the college would be understand­ing and have set rules to allow for easy and productive late enrollment. Have a grace period or have a set list of circumstances. The college is already a form-happy institution. So why not create a collection of forms for students to fill out in order to be awarded late enrollment? Do anything at all to exude the tiniest bit of compassion for the situations students face.

Enrollment seems to have taken the likenesses of an all-or-nothing policy and that negatively affects everyone involved. Life can be an unpredictable thing; the college needs to be a little more understand­ing of that.

Contact Jessica Mitchell, features editor, at


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